Mon, Jun 25, 2007 - Page 20 News List

Ljubicic wins first grasscourt title

TRIUMPHANT The Ordina Open second seed withstood an impressive challenge from world No. 488 Peter Wessels, who was seeking only the second title of his 11-year career


Ivan Ljubicic won his first grass-court championship on Saturday, beating unseeded Peter Wessels of the Netherlands 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6 (4) in the final of the Ordina Open.

Third-seeded Anna Chakvetadze of Russia upset top-seeded Jelena Jankovic of Serbia 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-3 in the rain-affected women's final of the Wimbledon warmup.

It was the second title of the year for both Ljubicic and Chakvetadze.

Second-seeded Ljubicic, who is ranked 13th in the world, got an unexpectedly tough challenge from Wessels, who never dropped his serve. Wessels is ranked 488th and was seeking only his second title in an 11-year career.

"Peter played a fantastic game, I couldn't break him once," Ljubicic said, who became the third Croat in a row to win the championship after two titles for Mario Ancic.

Earlier on Saturday, Wessels completed his semi-final match against Antony Dupuis of France, winning 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3), after it was halted on Friday due to darkness.

"Beforehand I would have been happy to make the final, but if you're there and so close, that's bitter," Wessels said.

Chakvetadze broke Jankovic in the final set to lead 4-2, only to drop serve in the next game. She recovered to 5-3 and then saved three break points to serve out the set.

Chakvetadze opened the match with a five-game streak before Jankovic found her pace and evened the first set at 5-5.

"I started off good but Jelena came back very strong," Chakvetadze said. "In the beginning of the third set, I had some luck."

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